The fact is … I’m getting restless.
I’ve been planning a hasty launch of the trip. I’m ready to rock-n-roll and blow this joint. I’m trying to solve the problem of the van being without a hitch to pull the trailer and obtaining a rack for the paddle board and getting a tune-up I can’t afford yet. I’m ready to press the boxes against the wall and leave it for later. I want to visit my grandparents via the Redwoods and then meet Paul up in Alaska when he’s done. I want to drive by those Canada lakes, some of them hundreds of miles long. I want to criss-cross the country, skate across the surface of souls, greet and goodbye, and fill my windshield with vista after vista.
I know there’s something to be learned out on the road. I know I’ll discover a forgotten treasure, a misplaced wisdom, a coin of fate.
I cleaned the sink and toilet again. I sighed at the sight of the weeds. I watched an invasion of beige moths, resting on my chocolate mint thyme, busily consuming their lives upon it. What is life but a day? We are an inhale, an exhale, a puff. Do I want to spend it cleaning a home like rubbing a lamp without a genie? Cutting the grass and pulling the weeds and driving out of the garage and into the garage and fixing this and dusting that and sweeping this and vacuuming that. Wash and more wash, unending wash.
Do you ever wonder if there is a homeostasis of work? That if we invent a washing machine, we increase the clothes we wear so the work is the same? If we hire a maid, we increase the luncheons we attend to help the needy? Is it some internal function that keeps us busy so we don’t go mad or become eccentric or die of ennui? We pile up labors for ourselves … but I wonder, is it a natural drive, a healthy stabilization or is it a disease, a symptom of a decaying culture? Are we not comfortable with ourselves?
How is life meant to be spent? Am I on the right flower?
The waiting for the lawyer to call, the bank to call, the letter to arrive, the sheriff to knock, Elsa to get home, Paul to get off the boat … is getting tiring.
I believe I’ve been pretty patient. I feel that I’ve handled all of these emotional roller-coasters with equanimity. I sent my husband off, I sent my eldest off, the auction date arrived and went, the letter to vacate the premises arrived and caused its expected panic, the choosing of an attorney to deal with the non-sale of the property … and now what?
Nothing. Nothing but the slow, buzzing days of summer. Trips to town for tennis practice. Maybe go to church. A little packing. A little cooking. A little reading.
I would have relished the slowness forced upon me had I not sensed that it is the eye of a hurricane, the sucking in of waters with the fish flopping on the dry sand before the wall of water comes barreling back. I should be doing something, but what? What is going to happen? Do I wait calmly for my fate? Or try to fight it? Should I leave the house on my own terms?
Or just … wait?